Welcome BOS members and all interested in birding Western New York and Southeastern Ontario!

featured bird photo
Chestnut-sided Warbler in basic plumage by Sue Barth ©

Scoping September

September sees the largest number of southbound neotropical songbird migrants, including the warblers, which are in their more challenging to identify fall plumages. Hotspots like Tifft Nature Preserve, Amherst State Park, Goat Island, Fort Niagara State Park, and Rock Point Provincial Park are some popular places to visit at this time. While fewer in number, shorebirds continue to push through the region. Dabbling ducks continue to build while diving ducks begin to trickle into the region.

Most pronounced movements will be following the passage of a cold front and fallouts are possible if storms usher in those fronts. Migrants can end up anywhere so all local hotspots hold possibilities.

A strong southwest blow down the stretch of Lake Erie can push in all sorts of birds, from rare small gulls accompanying Bonaparte’s Gulls to terns, phalaropes, jaegers, ducks, and a few raptors. Anywhere along the Buffalo waterfront can prove rewarding during these storms.


The Buffalo Ornithological Society (BOS) has something to offer to anyone passionate about birds: from the backyard feeder- watcher, the avid lister or the environmental activist, to the dedicated citizen scientist or the professional ornithologist. Society activities include regular programs, field trips, intensive long-term bird counts, checklist and date guide development, varied research activities, and involvement in local conservation efforts. We invite you to join in the activities of the society!

 BOS Membership  

The Buffalo Ornithological Society, Inc. was established in 1929 to promote the study of the birds of the Niagara Frontier Region. Annual grants are awarded by the BOS to fund member-sponsored avian research projects. We are proud of our extensive scientific research databases, our continuing involvement in environmental and conservation activities that impact birds, and our promotion of the enjoyment of ornithology.

The BOS coverage area includes Western New York and parts of nearby Ontario, Canada. This region is rich in bird life with over 380 species and 25 recognizable subspecies of birds recorded. Explore our site to learn more about where to report and find birds, both regional specialties and rare visitors.


  Our New Website

Our BOS website has just been redesigned and we hope you like it! If you are a BOS member, go to our Registration page to create your web account, giving you access to the member-only portion of the website. If you aren't already a BOS member, please consider joining!


  Upcoming Field Trips and Events

Several field trips, meetings, and events have recently been added to our calendar. Take a look and be sure to join us at a meeting or on one of our field trips!

Oct 08, 2016

BOS October Count

Details: (click for more info)

October 8th: BOS Annual October Count.

The compiler is Marcie Jacklin at mjacklin@brocku.ca or 905-871-2577.

BOS members are encouraged to participate - even as much as counting from your yard, neighborhood, and/or closest birding spot.

Please reach out to Marcie if you can help. She can guide you to a section leader if there isn’t one already calling on you. We have an over 80 year dataset from this count and to keep it as valuable as possible we need to improve our coverage.


Oct 12, 2016

Vaughan Lecture - “Exploring the World of Birds through Media Specimens"

Details: (click for more info)

The Vaughan Lecture will be in place of this month's meeting.

"Exploring the World of Birds through Media Specimens". October 12th from 7:00 - 8:30 PM.

Dr. Mike Webster; Robert G. Engel Professor of Ornithology in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University and Director of the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Using his own work on Australian and North American birds, as well as research by others, Dr. Webster will illustrate how media specimens can be used for modern day ornithological research: research aimed at both understanding and conserving birds. He also will show how emerging new and inexpensive technologies are allowing everyday “citizen scientists” to collect and use media specimens, leading to a better understanding of birds at continental and even global scales. Efforts such as these are allowing for broader participation in ornithological science, and are fostering a deeper appreciation of the natural world.


Oct 26, 2016

Field Trip - 4 days in Cape May NJ

Details: (click for more info)

This trip is being led by Alec Humann who has frequented Cape May for several decades. We will focus our time on Cape Island (south of the Cape May canal) at all the famous hotspots. A pontoon birding trip into the salt marsh, Higbee Beach, the Hawkwatch, South Cape May Meadows, and other hotspots will be on our itinerary. If time permits we can also visit Stone Harbor and Brigantine and I will try to arrange for hawk and owl banding demos. Your leader will be plugged in to the local RBA so we can keep up on reported rarities. Participants are expected to book their own accommodations as well as travel to/around Cape May. All BOS members are invited.

Wednesday, October 26
730-900. Coral Avenue Dune Crossing on Cape May Point. We will gather on the wooden deck overlooking the Delaware Bay and enjoy the dawn passerine flight, early raptor flight, gulls, terns and shorebirds.
900-1200. Stop for breakfast and then go the the Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge aka 'The Meadows' (Nature Conservancy Property). We will walk the gravel trail through the freshwater marsh out to the ocean/beach. Birds of interest here include shorebirds and herons/egrets, bittern, terns, possibly hawk flight overhead and VA Rail and Sora.
1200-400. Pick up lunch at the Cape May Cheese Company or Capaletti's Italian deli across the street and head to the hawkwatch. If the hawk flight isn't happening we will walk the trails at Cape May Point State Park. If raptors are flying, it will be awesome! Not only do raptors pass over the hawkwatch but so to many other birds. Bunker Pond, in front of the platform, will have a great collection of waterfowl, usually including several Eurasian Wigeon. There has been a huge brush pile along the dunes that frequently attract rarer birds like Lark, Clay-colored and Vesper Sparrows. We will have plenty to look at!
400-630. Siesta, shower, catch your breath.
630. Group dinner at Lucky Bones
830. Possible owl banding demo if any birds have been caught at the net check around this time and then to bed!

Thursday, October 27
730-900. Coral Avenue Dune Crossover for the morning passerine flight - as yesterday.
900-200. Pick up breakfast and head north to the Avalon Seawatch; weather permitting. This is staffed by a CMBO employee for the entire fall season. We should expect to see plenty of scoters, Red-throated Loons, Gannets, Brant and others. More uncommon species include Purple Sandpiper, Parasitic Jaeger and occasionally Humpback Whale!
200-400. Drive back to Cape May (about 30 mins), take a nap, visit CMBO bookstore
430-600. Sunset at The Meadows. We will walk out to the observation tower and look west for possible Long-eared Owls to come out of roost, American Bittern flying up out of the marsh in front of us and whatever else we may be privy to see!
600-630. Possible owl banding demo if any birds are city's upon opening nets.
630. Group dinner at The Blue Pig in Congress Hall or some other option (Lobster House?).

Friday, October 28
730-1100. Stone Harbor and Nummy Island Loop. We will stop at the Wetlands Institute to check the marsh for possible Yellow-crowned Night-Heron and Glossy Ibis. At Stone Harbor Point we will walk the beach in search of shorebirds like Western Sandpiper, Sanderling, Turnstone, Black-bellied Plover, etc... We will stop on Nummy Island to check the marsh for Nelson's, Saltmarsh and Seaside Sparrows, Clapper Rail, herons and egrets and Oystercatcher.
1100-430. Drive back to Cape May (15 mins), pick up lunch and go to the hawkwatch. Possibly work in a Monarch tagging demo with the Monarch intern, Lindsey Brendel. Bird around the State Park trails/ponds/beach. If the hawkwatch isn't exciting, we will head over to The Rea Farm/Beanery to walk the trails there for songbirds. We will also check Lily Lake for interesting waterfowl.
430-530. Rest back at hotel before dinner.
600-730. Dinner at the Ugly Mug or some similar place on The Walking Mall in town.
800. Possible owl banding demo if birds are caught.

Saturday, October 29
730-930. Walk the trail at The Meadows for shorebirds, rails, herons and other waders.
930-1230. Salt marsh safari aboard The Skimmer. The boat leaves from Cape May Inlet Marina. We will be hoping for up close looks at Clapper Rail, Tricolored and Little Blue Herons, Oystercatcher and more.
1230-200. We can get lunch and head to the hawkwatch or if the weather isn't conducive, we can eat lunch at The Lobster House which is close to the marina.
230-500. Bird Higbee Beach or Hidden Valley for passerines and then end the trip.

So there is a tentative schedule. We will plan on chasing any rarities that are found during our 4 days and that will of course affect our schedule. If any of the days sound too intensive, remember, you can always head back to your hotel for a rest or stay at the hawkwatch when we go somewhere else. A GroupMe account has been set up so everyone can stay in touch. It will make it easier to reconnect with the group of you decide to bow out of a time slot for some reason. Other hotspots we may add in or supplement with are Sunset Beach/Magnasite Plant, Cox Hall Creek and 2nd Avenue Jetty. Whatever we do, we are going to enjoy lots of great birds! If anyone has any questions, feel free to contact me (alechumann@msn.com).


Oct 29, 2016

Field Trip - Lake Ontario Plain

Details: (click for more info)

Lake Ontario Plain Field Trip for fall migrants. Meet at 8 am at Tops Market in Wright's Corners. This is on the east side of Route 78 and Route 104, north of Lockport.

Leader: Joe Mitchell (716-604-7701 or rhettbutler81@hotmail.com).



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